These past few days have sent me on a rollercoaster of intense emotions. I have experienced rage, frustration and hopelessness to name a few. It’s bad enough that people who look like me are being murdered like cattle. No, there are actually activists these days who campaign for animal rights. In 2020, animals don’t have to fight for their rights, they have many people doing it for them.
As Black Muslims, aside from having to deal with vile and cruel racism from non-Black people in general, we often experience racism from the non-Black members of the Muslim community who often hide behind the banner of a “colourblind” ummah (Muslim community).
A few days ago I experienced the cruel face of racism from a non- Black Muslim who after completely dismissing the suffering of Black people, proceeded to hurl insults and condescending comments when called out by myself and another Black Muslim. The all too familiar dismissiveness of the Black struggle and pain made my blood boil and reminded me once again of the fallacy of “one Ummah”. I am tired of hearing “We are all Muslims”, “Islam sees no colour” and the likes. Yes Islam doesn’t see colour but the fact is many non-Black Muslims do. The truth is that our “colour blind” ummah pretends that racism doesn’t exists in Muslim communities world wide when it’s alive and kicking. Black People being murdered is not a Muslim problem they say, yet we as Black Muslims are expected to feel the pain of people being tortured and murdered in Arab or South Asian lands because “we are all Muslims sister, where is your compassion”?
“Sister, Islam sees no race”, “sister, Islam is all that should matter to you”, “sister, it’s not a competition, there are also Muslims dying everywhere”. Such comments and statements add insult to injury when we as Black People live with the stark reality that we have and continue to be seen as less than, not worth living simply because our Lord perfectly created us in our beautiful Black skin. Where is YOUR compassion “sister” for the injustice we continue to endure?
STOP telling us that our experiences are not worth speaking about. STOP dismissing how we feel by pacifying us with what Islam says about racism. STOP telling us that it’s not a big deal that we are being persecuted around the world and have been for hundreds of years.
STOP silencing us with a “colourblind ummah”. From where I am standing, our colourblind ummah refuses to acknowledge that anti-Blackness is rife in the Muslim community and we are no longer keeping quiet about it.